Red Robin case study
Red Robin Gourmet Burgers boosts restaurant efficiency through operational and financial planning with Anaplan
With over 400 restaurants and 32,000 team members across the US and Canada, Red Robin Gourmet Burgers is a market leader in casual dining. Red Robin has seen steady growth by delivering successful promotional campaigns and driving consistent customer satisfaction.
Through their success, Red Robin realized that the traditional method of pulling together financial data via inflexible and dispersed legacy systems was holding them back.
One of the primary objectives of the Red Robin’s FP&A team was to provide ongoing support to each of the restaurant managers when gathering, producing, and reporting out their P&L. Both the FP&A team and the 400+ restaurant managers spent many, many hours each week finding and consolidating this data. The end goal was to determine the variable compensation targets and budgets for each restaurant.
The budget process started with the FP&A team establishing a baseline assumption and then relying on the Regional Operations Directors to validate these assumptions by restaurant. Once the Regional Operations Directors confirm the budgets, the restaurant budgets are set for the quarter.
Every month, the FP&A team generated a report in Excel® to report on restaurant performance. This report included the Operations Scorecard. Made up of 11 metrics, the scorecards were intended to represent a balanced and holistic view of an individual restaurant’s performance and health, providing a full P&L statement starting with sales and ending with restaurant cash flow. The inputs for this report came from 10+ different sources, and the report itself was very manual and time consuming to put together.
By the time these customized metrics were gathered for each restaurant, Red Robin was reporting out its financial performance two weeks after the close of each month. With this delay in real-time results, it left restaurant managers little time or ability to proactively advise their restaurants accurately and efficiently. To get the restaurant managers out of the back office in the weeds of data gathering and back on the restaurant floor, Jaime Benson, Red Robin’s Finance Manager, knew it was time to overhaul both the process and support systems.
Before Anaplan, Red Robin had a legacy, on-premise planning solution and managed many Excel spreadsheets in addition. The goal of finding a new budgeting and planning tool was for restaurant managers to spend significantly less time tracking down the right financial data and focus instead on their core job: managing the restaurant, employees, and customers. They also needed to be more empowered to make their own decisions based on the branch’s performance and P&Ls.
Jaime knew they needed a more innovative and flexible technology that could integrate with their current sources of data to keep pace with the restaurants growth and ensure accurate reporting. They were looking for an intuitive, spreadsheet-like tool so that restaurant managers and the Excel business user would be comfortable with the new solution. Lastly, Red Robin needed a tool that was mobile and tablet friendly so that restaurant managers could gather realtime insights and performance metrics without being tied to their desks.
Jaime turned to Anaplan to accelerate planning, improve insight, and increase visibility from the frontline of each regional restaurant manager up to the boardroom. “With Anaplan we have a cloud-based solution that can be accessed from anywhere, which is extremely important for our restaurants,” Jaime said. “Managers can pull up their financial data anytime from a tablet or smartphone and course correct their management or budgets on-the-fly. This visibility did not exist previously, and now it’s automated!”
Implementation and Deployment
The decision to implement Anaplan was a joint decision between Jaime’s FP&A team, IT, and restaurant operations. Anaplan was first implemented for the budgeting and planning cycle, but soon Red Robin saw the broad potential of Anaplan. “Once we saw how easy Anaplan was to get implemented and how much time it saved our team, we knew there were additional use cases we had to try on the platform,” Jaime said.
Anaplan has given us real-time insight into the health of our overall restaurant business but most importantly we have weekly detailed insight into the health of each individual restaurant and why one branch may be underperforming,” Jaime said. “Now each restaurant manager has the ownership, insight, and empowerment to confidently make decisions to improve their restaurant. They can course correct their operating plan and budgets based on the real-time insight into a restaurant’s P&L.”
With Anaplan, managers and key stakeholders alike have a clear and accurate view of financial performance so that they can find opportunities to improve their business in a timely way. As a result, Red Robin now delivers operational scorecards every week, rather than once a month. The speed that Red Robin is producing real-time financial insight has changed the way the company runs and manages their over 400 restaurants, 32,000 team members, and customers.
With a successful deployment and quick adoption of Anaplan, Red Robin has not only transformed its process of gathering its financial performance insight but also driven stronger alignment and collaboration between the restaurant managers, Jaime’s FP&A team, and the Red Robin executives alike.
Moving forward Red Robin will expand the use of Anaplan as a decision-making tool within the organization. They plan to develop executive dashboards for holistic, at-a-glance views of actuals to target performance. With a high-level view of the operational scorecard performance metrics, Red Robin executives will be able to confidently make business decisions on-the-fly without having to track down information regionally or from the FP&A team. The end goal is for all of Red Robin to be enabled and confident to make decisions that are best for the business.
“We are now striving to use Anaplan as a decision-making tool for restaurant managers through scorecard dashboards,” said Jaime. “This will keeps restaurants accountable for their performance while driving alignment and visibility across all regional restaurants and up to the executives.”
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- Financial Budgeting, Planning & Forecasting
- Manual, time-consuming process to develop operational metrics and P&Ls
- Unable to consolidate numbers or extricate data in a timely manner
- Lack of visibility into the overall financial and operational performance of restaurants
- Enhanced data quality and access to the data through a single data hub
- Real-time analysis of data enabling the ability to course correct
Results at a Glance
- Decreased turnaround time of producing each restaurant’s financial results from once a month down to once a week
- Automated, real-time visibility into financial and operational data delivering timely insights anywhere, anytime
- Ability to optimize P&Ls and tracked scorecard metrics based on increased visibility into financial performance
- Restaurant manager’s time significantly freed up to focus on core management, customers, and team mentoring responsibilities